Study: Black Teens Face Racial Discrimination Multiple Times Daily
Rutgers researcher says teens experience daily anti-black microaggressions.
A recent study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology looked at how often Black teens experienced racial discrimination on a daily basis. The teens involved in the two-week study experienced over five incidences of discrimination each day — mainly online.
Researchers surveyed 101 Black youth between the ages of 13 and 17 from predominantly Black neighborhoods in Washington D.C., every day for two weeks measuring their individual experiences with racial discrimination and changes in their depressive symptoms during that period. At the end of the study, 5,606 experiences were reported averaging 5.21 incidents per teen each day.
The study examined the frequency and psychological impacts of daily racial discrimination through subclasses of experience: individual, vicarious, online, offline and teasing. While online experiences were the most common, the study showed that daily racial discrimination is a predictor of “short-term increases in depressive symptoms” among black teens.
In a press release, Devin English, the lead author and assistant professor at Rutgers School of Public Health said, “This research reflects what researchers and activists have asserted for years: Black adolescents are forced to face anti-Black microaggressions on a daily basis. Importantly, this study expands the research on the many ways that discrimination happens, whether it is being teased by peers, asked to speak for their racial group in class, or seeing a racist post on social media.”
This adds to a growing body of evidence that shows persistent racial discrimination towards minority teens can contribute to mental health issues (anxiety, depression, trauma), increases in substance abuse, decreased academic achievement, and an increase in health problems.
“Racial discrimination prevention should be a public health imperative”
The study showed short-term increases in depressive symptoms were directly related to the experiences reported. Which ranged from being ridiculed about physical appearance to overt discrimination. Being teased about “wearing their…